Learn the history of the American Quarter Horse in Alberta
American Quarter Horses were brought across the border into Canada at different times.
Alberta: "All of my research seems to indicate that the first registered Quarter Horse was brought to Alberta by Jac Streeter of Stavely, in March of 1942. With the American Quarter Horse Registry being only two years old at the time, it is quite possible that the stallion Sleepy Cat, AQHA #620, raised by Jack Casement in Whitewater, Colorado, was indeed Alberta's first registered American Quarter Horse. There were many Quarter Horses or Steel Dusts as they were known in those day, but registering them was a relatively new practice." Excerpted from the book, Alberta's Best, by Maggie Glynn-Jensen, published in 1996.
Quarter Horses in Alberta - from the files of the Alberta Quarter Horse Breeders Group:
The Quarter Horse has been associated with the development of Alberta. Horses of a Quarter Horse type were used extensively on the ranches and farms in southern Alberta prior to the turn of the twentieth century. These horses were selected and bred for hardiness to survive the severe winters, excellent dispositions for ease of handling, cow sense to work the ranches, and soundness of conformation to stand up to the hard riding required in settling the west.
Sleepy Cat was the first regstered Quarter Horse to come to Alberta. He was a beautiful, well made individual with substance and balance. Standing 15 hands and weighing 1200 lbs., this palomino stallion sired excellent foals with the disposition desired by the ranch and rodeo hands. The Ad Day Ranch of Medicine Hat brought in a black yearling colt in 1919, later know as "Old Ad". He was mated to the high quality Day Ranch mares to produce some of the best ranch and rodeo horses in North America.
The Quarter Horse became recognized as a breed in 1940. This new breed had beautiful heads with big eyes, fine muzzles, heavy jowls and small fox ears. Their necks were clean and fine and molded beautifully into good withers. They possessed strong backs and loins and their hips were long and well muscled. But best of all was the excellent bone, straight legs and sound feet. These horses were selected to remain sound for life because they they were being worked hard over all kinds of terrain on Alberta ranches.
Today the breed is the most popular in Alberta with the rancher, cowboy and the pleasure rider. Initially Quarter Horses wer mainly bays with little white, however, the demand for more color is now prevalent, but sound, good dispositioned horses are still the quality features desired by breed enthusiasts today.